Being Generous With Other People's Money
In it, Brooks notes the Barack and Michele Obama were not particularly generous when it came to charitable giving when they made a crummy $230,000 a year.
"The Obamas got rich in 2005. Their income increased sevenfold from 2004 to 2005, mostly because of Mr. Obama’s book royalties, and stayed very high in 2006 for the same reason. In 2006, another wealthy political couple with significant book royalties was Mr. and Mrs. Cheney, who had a combined income of $8.8 million, largely due to Mrs. Cheney’s books and the couple’s investment income. Just how much did the Cheneys give to charity from their bonanza? A measly 78 percent of their income, or $6.9 million. (No, that is not a misprint.)
This last fact does not generally square with the well-cultivated liberal trope of the blackhearted Cheneys. Unless, that is, you believe that private charity is not an important value that defines one’s character, compared with government taxation and welfare spending (which Mr. Cheney generally opposes, despite the profligate ways of the Bush White House).
Being generous with other people's money. Not a bad definition of the Obamas brand of liberalism.